One field down, one to go

JAMIE BATEMAN

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After eight months, softball field renovations conclude

This past offseason, the varsity softball field underwent serious renovations and improvements. Changes to the infield dirt, dugouts, backstop and more aspects of the field were all made inluding the addition of a scoreboard in the outfield.

The money required for the nearly eight month long renovation came from the Roseville Joint Union High School District. Varsity softball coach Art Banks said that the softball program received the money from the district after he was hired by Roseville High School last year.

The major renovations started at the end of last year’s season and ended in January, though minor changes continue to happen. According to RHS assistant principal Jason Wilson, the renovations cost close to $500,000.

Among the many changes to the field, Banks thinks that the nicest feature might be the new bullpens.

“On the old field, the girls would have to go down the line and either warm up on the grass, and for the visitors they would have to warm up on the dirt,” Banks said, “Now the girls have these really nice bullpens that are also fenced in.”

Banks feels that the changes to the field were a necessity and were far overdue.

“Before the changes started happening, the field we had was probably one of the worst in the [Capital Valley Conference],” Banks said. “Most schools in this area have really nice fields, and now we fit in.”

The district has also cleared a plan to extend a permanent fence all the way down the right and left field foul lines that will extend from the bullpens all the way to the home run fence.

“Along with all the other things done to the field we are also extending that fence all the way down so that kids can’t get on and mess around,” Banks said. “It also makes the field feel a little more protected and a little more professional.”

Freshman varsity catcher Sadie Langslet is very pleased with how the field looks and thinks that it will benefit the team during practices.

“The field is really beautiful, you can tell just from looking at it,” Langslet said. “The dirt is really nice and now when we practice we get better quality ground balls and it will probably make us better.”

Langslet’s teammate, sophomore Karli Dugger, thinks that the improvements made to the field might not directly improve the team’s play but should help the girls play with more confidence.

“The new dirt we got is really nice and the new backstop is more of a real backstop,” Dugger said. “All of the changes should make us more confident in playing at our home field. All of us are really excited to be able to get the opportunity to play at such a nice field.”

Langslet also agrees with Dugger in that the field will give the team a greater sense of confidence.

“Now that the field is so beautiful, everyone will have a sense of pride in playing at home,” Langslet said. “I also think that now that we have a good field other teams are going to be more intimidated in coming here, because a bad team wouldn’t have such a nice field.”

In efforts to help maintain its current close-to-perfect condition, the RJUHSD has stepped in and stopped the Roseville Girls Softball youth program from using the field.

Previously, girls ages 6-16 have played softball games on RHS’ varsity and JV softball fields as part of the organization which puts the fields through additional wear and tear.

“The Roseville Joint Union High School District has, for the next year, blocked the RGS program from scheduling games on our field, just so the field can get finalized,” Banks said. “In years to come, they probably will be allowed to play again.”

Banks also said that in the near future the JV softball field will also undergo changes and renovations.

“Yeah, we have been having parent work days where parents and kids can come out and work on the field,” Banks said. “There might be more monumental things that change, but for now it’s just parents and some girls.”